By Garrett Wheeler
Well, as Porky would say, “that’s all folks”. Game over, series done. Giants 5, A’s 1. Put it in the books ‘till next year- until then, there will be no rest for the green and gold. Buddy, can you spare me a pitcher?
If you were like me and went to the series finale last night, you were either extremely pleased with your team’s performance (Giants fans) or bitterly disappointed (A’s fans). Unfortunately for me, my allegiance lies with the A’s, and last night at the Coliseum felt something like sharing an ice-water bath with John Kruk- an extremely uncomfortable experience, I assure you. The only highlights were the dollar dogs, and they were out of ketchup by the sixth inning.
Not that there was much hope to begin with. A marquee duel it was not. The great Randy Johnson vs. the mediocre Gio Gonzalez is no match-up of the ages, and please, can someone please tell Nate Schierholtzt to cool the F down- this isn’t double-A ball dude.
Oakland’s most obvious deficiency last night, aside from Gio’s dismal lack of command, was the inability to come up with hits with runners in scoring position. Yawn…I know, what else is new, right? There were at least three situations in which the A’s had multiple runners on base with less than two outs, and then WHAMO, there’s the double play ground ball, right on schedule.
And the errors. What’s with this? Why are we bobbling groundballs and dropping routine flies like some kind of little league squad hopped up on Otter Pops? To see a big league outfielder unable to run to a spot and make a play on the ball is an embarrassment, and not to single anyone out (ahem, Jack Cust) but this has got to stop.
Ok, ok, so the Giants are playing pretty good ball. Kruk and Kuip, you’re right- the Giants have a lot of confidence right now, and Bochy’s got to be pleased. But that doesn’t excuse the Oakland A’s from underachieving in nearly every category. Yeah, the pitching staff is young, but where’s all this limitless potential everyone was so hyped on at the start of the season? And where is the veteran-led offense? Hung over after a big night out in Blackhawk?
Last night was a sad performance by a flailing ball club with seemingly no sense of direction. As the great closer and reality TV star Brian Wilson approached the final out (he threw three pitches by the way), Giants fans, clad in sparkling new Sandoval jerseys and designer jeans, rose to their feet in victory. As for me, well, I dipped my last condiment-free dollar dog into a pool of nacho cheese and looked to the upper deck in left field. There, painted on the tarp, were four reminders that Oakland A’s baseball hasn’t faired so badly after all: 1972, 1973, 1974, and my personal favorite, 1989.